Spring is almost here! Start a children’s herb garden – don’t be scared!

Following closely on the heels of this week’s cooking with kids posts, the very talented Liss of Frills in the Hills shares her tips for starting a simple and child friendly herb garden.

Not all of us have a sprawling backyard, or a green thumb, but right now is the right time to start a herb garden or a small vegetable garden in a tub and get the kids involved!

If you have a black thumb, don’t panic. Here are some tips just for you!

♥ Start with a styrofoam tray/box with a bag of potting mix. Ask your local green-grocer for the styrofoam box, without holes in the bottom, add some drainage holes yourself by poking the bottom with something like a chopstick, knitting needle or large skewer.

♥ Plant some seedlings of herbs like parsley, basil and oregano – these are the Italian herb brothers – perfect for bolognaise! Maybe a few cos lettuce too if you like. If you like flowers, plant a companion flower like marigold, it keeps away the moths.

♥ Watering is easy to forget if you’re a busy family but if you make it a ritual – try and water before 10am or after 3pm to avoid your plants getting sunburnt and give them the maximum opportunity to drink up! Some ideas to help you remember, water:

  • whilst you feed your animals
  • after your breakfast
  • after you brush your teeth.
  • you may even want to add it to your children’s chore chart!

♥ Kids LOVE to do the watering so arming them their own watering can will allow them to take ‘ownership’. You can teach them which herb is which and ask them to collect some when you’re cooking.

♥ Kids tending to love picking herbs/vegetables – and this is a great incentive to eat them! Proudly boast, ‘This is Lachlan’s parsley we’re eating tonight, tastes delicious, well done!’

Recommended resources:

♥ For a step by step guide to make, plant and grow in a styrofoam box visit survival.org.au

♥ A great reference guide to planting, caring and cooking with kids in the garden: Stephanie Alexander, Kitchen Garden Cooking ($45)

♥ A gorgeous complete garden kit for kids – perfect birthday or Christmas gift ($36.11) includes hat, apron, gardening tools, watering can, gloves, kneeling pad, and tool holder!

For more fun, food, frugality and family, visit Liss over at Frills in the Hills. Her recipes make me drool and want to be so much better in the domesticity stakes!

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  1. •´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• says:

    Awesome idea Liss (& Christie) , I kind of started one with my boys – got rejected $.50 & $2.00 herbs from Bunnings last week.
    They have aspecial herb potting mix too $3.98
    I must try the cos lettuce & thinking cherry tomatoes too.

  2. Brilliant ideas. Thank you. I'm just in the planning stages of putting together a sensory garden for my girls. So this is very helpful. 🙂

  3. PlanningQueen says:

    Such great ideas Liss. I think my kids would love growing their own herb garden. Two of them recently went and planted some seeds from the pumpkin I was cutting up for dinner – they are patiently waiting for something to happen there!

  4. SquiggleMum says:

    Thanks for sharing such fabulous ideas Liss! My kids love picking their own herbs when we make home-made pizzas on Friday nights. There's something exciting about planting your own basil, watering it yourself, picking it, sprinkling it onto your own pizza, and eating!

  5. KidsLearningisfun says:

    Great post. My boys love to get into the garden, it is more their mother who isn't so keen (as I seem to kill everything). You have inspired me to give it another go.

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